Democratic Elections in the Middle East
Last week’s Egyptian presidential election turned into a nationalist celebration with voters singing and dancing at several polling stations. But the voting also illustrated the nation’s bitter divisions since the military’s removal of Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi. In several towns where Islamists dominate, the voting was often thin or non-existent.
Elected as the next president, 59-year-old retired Egyptian military chief, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, is hoping to show international critics that his July 3rd ouster of Morsi reflected the will of the people – and to claim popular support as he tries to tackle Egypt’s daunting economic woes.
In Syria, on June 3rd, voters are going to the polls for the first time since the Assad family came to power; this is the first election in which the Syrian population can elect a new president. The elections are widely criticized because many Syrians won’t be able to vote. It is expected that the current president, Bashar al-Assad, will win these elections.
The three candidates for presidency are:
Bashar al-Assad; he has been the president since 2000;
Hassan Abdullah al-Nouri; businessman from Damascus;
Maher Abdul-Hafiz Hajjar; MP (Member of Parliament) from Aleppo.
Father God, we join in prayer today for the newly elected Egyptian president. Although some Egyptians are not pleased with the outcome, we pray that newly-elected President el-Sisi will be able to bring unity and economic reform to Egypt. And for the people of Syria, they are asking that we pray that these elections will not lead to more violence. The nation is weary from years of war, and they desperately desire peace once again. Jesus, You are the Prince of Peace… may Your presence and power shine in Your people, bringing peace and hope in both Egypt and Syria, Amen.